COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State women’s hockey’s Emma Maltais has been named to Team Canada’s 2022 Olympic roster, Hockey Canada announced Tuesday. Maltais will make her first trip to the Olympics this year and joins former Buckeye Natalie Spooner, who will skate in her third Olympics for the Canadians this February in Beijing, on the 23-player roster.
“It still does not feel real that I will be headed to the Olympic Games,” Maltais said. “I am so honored to be selected to this team and I am really excited I get to share this moment with an amazing group of people. I would not be anywhere close to this point if it wasn’t for The Ohio State University and my OSU family. I am so grateful to be a Buckeye and so excited that my dream of being an Olympian has come true.”
The Burlington, Ontario native, who plans to return to the Ohio State roster for the 2022-23 campaign for her final season of eligibility, has been centralized with the Canadian national team, along with Spooner, since July of 2021 ahead of the IIHF Women’s World Championships. Maltais made her first appearance at the world championships as a member of Hockey Canada’s senior national team last summer, skating in five games of the tournament and helping the team to a gold medal finish.
“Emma is arguably one of the best 200-foot hockey players,” Buckeye head coach Nadine Muzerall said. “She is very, very annoying to play against and she is very tough to play against. She doesn’t quit and she just keeps coming after you. She is very instrumental on the penalty kill as she blocks shots, pressures hard and makes you make mistakes. I hope she enjoys the ride. She is one of the top players in the world and now has the opportunity to represent her country’s colors on the biggest stage for women’s hockey.”
Maltais is a two-time Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award Top 10 Finalist and has garnered USCHO and ACHA All-America honors as a Buckeye. She owns the Ohio State record for single-season points (59) and assists (40) which she hit during the 2019-20 season.
“I’m so proud of Emma for making the Olympic roster and couldn’t be happier for her,” Ohio State forward Liz Schepers said. “I’ve been so lucky to have her as a friend and teammate and be able to see first-hand how hard she works everyday to be the best. She has great energy, the ability to make everyone around her better and has grown into an incredible leader both on and off the ice. Emma has meant so much to this program and our culture, so it’s awesome to see her dedication get rewarded at the highest level.”
Spooner, a 2012 graduate of Ohio State, has two Olympic medals to her name, winning gold at the 2014 Sochi Olympics and silver at the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics. The two-time world champion and eight-time world medalist has been a member of the Canadian national team program since 2007 and recorded her 100th point for Canada at the 2021 IIHF Women’s World Championships. She is the first Canadian to compete for the National Women’s Team, the National Women’s U-22 Team and the National Women’s U-18 Team.
In her career as a Buckeye, Spooner recorded 163 points on 100 goals and 63 assists. As the only Buckeye to have scored 100 goals in her time at Ohio State, she still stands as the leading goal scorer in program history. She also holds the Ohio State record for goals in a season with 31. A 2012 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award Top 10 Finalist, Spooner is an AHCA All-American and a 2019 Ohio State Hall of Fame inductee.
The 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics mark the fourth consecutive Olympic Games that a Buckeye has been named to the Team Canada roster and the first time that two Buckeyes will play on the team. Emma Maltais becomes the 10th Ohio State women’s hockey player to make an Olympic roster with Jincy Dunne, who was officially named a Team USA Olympian on Jan. 1, being the ninth.
Team Canada begins play at the Olympics on Feb. 2 against Switzerland. The Canadians look to win their fifth Olympic gold medal at this year’s games.